This bulletin outlines how to use the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations. It does not change, create, amend or suggest deviations from them. For specific details, consult the TDG Regulations.
On this page
- Finding information in the TDG Regulations
- The difference between the TDG Act and TDG Regulations
- The products regulated by the TDG Regulations
- Determining if a substance is dangerous goods
- Forbidden dangerous goods
- Special provisions
- Special cases
- Using the Regulations
- Equivalency certificates
- Compliance with the TDG Act and Regulations
Finding information in the TDG Regulations
The TDG Regulations are comprised of 16 Parts and 3 Schedules:
- Part 1:
- Coming into Force, Repeal, Interpretation, General Provisions and Special Cases
- Part 2:
- Part 3:
- Part 4:
- Dangerous Goods Safety Marks
- Part 5:
- Means of Containment
- Part 6:
- Part 7:
- Emergency Response Assistance Plan
- Part 8:
- Reporting Requirements
- Part 9:
- Part 10:
- Part 11:
- Part 12:
- Part 13:
- Protective Direction
- Part 14:
- Permit for Equivalent Level of Safety
- Part 15:
- Court Order
- Part 16:
- Schedule 1:
- List of Dangerous Goods by UN Number
- Schedule 2:
- Special Provisions
- Schedule 3:
- Alphabetical Index of Dangerous Goods
The difference between the TDG Act and TDG Regulations
The legal name of the TDG Act is the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992. Its purpose is to promote public safety during the import, handling, offering for transport and transport of dangerous goods. It sets out the general requirements that must be met. It also gives the government the power to:
- make regulations that elaborate on those requirements
- grant exemptions from requirements
- designate federal inspectors to verify compliance through inspections, etc.
The TDG Regulations is where you will find specific details on how to ship and transport dangerous goods in your day to day operations.
The products regulated by the TDG Regulations
It is the consignor’s (i.e. shipper) responsibility to determine if a product is regulated as a dangerous good, in accordance with the criteria and tests of the TDG Regulations. For this purpose, the consignor will find most information related to the classification of dangerous goods in Part 2 (Classification) of the TDG Regulations.
It is important to know that training is a key element to understand and comply with the TDG Regulations.
The TDG Regulations require any person who handles, offers for transport or transports dangerous goods to be adequately trained or to work under the direct supervision of someone who is. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that their employees are properly trained and are issued a training certificate.
Training must address the duties the employees will perform and the dangerous goods that they will handle, offer for transport or transport. For example, an employee who completes shipping documents must be trained on the requirements of Part 3 (Documentation) of the TDG Regulations.
For more information, please consult Part 6 (Training) of the TDG Regulations and the TDG Bulletin – TDG Training.
Determining if a substance is dangerous goods
It is the consignor's responsibility to classify a substance, product or organism to determine if it is dangerous goods. Classification is normally performed by, or in consultation with, someone able to understand the nature of the dangerous goods, such as a manufacturer or a person who formulates, blends or otherwise prepares mixtures or solutions of goods. Schedule 1 of the TDG Regulations lists the dangerous goods by UN number.
To find the UN number of a particular shipping name, consult the alphabetical list of shipping names in Schedule 3. Once you have found the proper UN number in column 3, return to Schedule 1 to find the information associated to it. Part 2 (Classification) of the TDG Regulations prescribes inclusion criteria for each of the nine classes of dangerous goods. Once a substance, product or organism has been assessed against all criteria of the nine classes, three different scenarios may occur:
- The dangerous goods is a well-defined substance and is listed by name in Column 2 of Schedule 1
Substances that are well-defined and listed by name in the dangerous goods list of Schedule 1, always have the same hazardous properties for transport. Therefore, these substances are classified under their own shipping name, unless it is in a form or concentration that is not dangerous goods. For example, acetone and aqueous solutions of acetone are classified under UN1090, ACETONE.
- The substance meets the criteria of only one class and one packing group
When a substance is not listed by name in column 2 of Schedule 1 and meets the criteria for inclusion in only one class and one packing group, that class and that packing group must be used to identify the shipping name that most precisely describes the dangerous goods and is the most consistent with the class and packing group. For example, a mixture of diesel and gasoline would be classified under UN1993, FLAMMABLE LIQUID, N.O.S.
- The substance meets the criteria of more than one class or more than one packing group
When a substance is not listed by name in Column 2 of Schedule 1 and meets the criteria for inclusion in more than one class or more than one packing group, the classification must be determined using the process described in Section 2.5 of the TDG Regulations. This process provides instructions regarding the precedence of classes, the determination of the packing group and the selection of the most appropriate shipping name. For example, a mixture of 50% ethanol and 50% methanol would be classified as UN1986, ALCOHOLS, FLAMMABLE, TOXIC, N.O.S.
Forbidden dangerous goods
When the word “Forbidden” appears in Column 3 of Schedule 1 or in Column 2 of Schedule 3, it is strictly prohibited to transport the dangerous goods.
When the word “Forbidden” appears in Column 8 or 9 of Schedule 1, the dangerous goods cannot be transported, respectively, in a passenger carrying vessel or a passenger carrying road or railway vehicle. For more information on passenger carrying vessels or vehicles, please refer to the appropriate definitions found in Section 1.4 of the TDG Regulations.
However, when the transportation of these dangerous goods is necessary, it is possible to submit a request for exemption called “Permit for Equivalent Level of Safety”, also known as an “Equivalency Certificate”.
For more information, please consult the “Equivalency Certificates” section of this document, Part 14 of the TDG Regulations and the TDG web site.
The special provisions that are applicable to a dangerous goods are listed by number in Column 5 of Schedule 1 and must be consulted.
These special provisions, found in Schedule 2, provide instructions such as exemptions, composition limits or additional requirements.
The TDG Regulations include Special Cases, also known as Exemptions that are listed in Sections 1.15 to 1.50 of Part 1. However, the applicable special provisions of Schedule 2 always take precedence over any other provision of the Regulations, as per Section 1.5.1 of the TDG Regulations.
Special cases allow consignors to be exempted from some or all requirements of the TDG Regulations, under certain conditions. When these conditions are not strictly met, the entire TDG Regulations apply.
Note that using a special case in Part 1 is optional and that the consignor is free to comply with the TDG Regulations as if the special case did not exist.
Using the Regulations
The TDG Regulations apply to all dangerous goods unless they are exempted by a special provision in Schedule 2 or one of the special cases in Part 1.
In addition to Special Provisions in Schedule 2, Special Cases in Part 1, Part 2 (Classification) and Part 6 (Training), it is important to note that other requirements of the TDG Regulations apply, such as:
- preparing a shipping document in accordance with Part 3 - information available in the TDG Bulletin - Shipping Document
- displaying the dangerous goods safety marks (including labels, placards, UN numbers and shipping names) in accordance with Part 4 - information available in the TDG Bulletin - Dangerous Goods Safety Marks
- selecting the appropriate means of containment for dangerous goods in accordance with Part 5 - information available in the TDG Bulletin - Means of Containment
- determining if an emergency response assistance plan (ERAP) is required for the dangerous goods and preparing an ERAP for submission to the TDG Directorate in compliance with Part 7
- determining if a report is required and to whom it should be made to in accordance with Part 8
- identifying additional provisions related to the mode of transport (road, rail, marine and air) in accordance with Parts 9, 10, 11 and 12
- determining the maximum allowable quantity of dangerous goods, per means of containment, for passenger carrying vessels and passenger carrying road or railway vehicles in accordance with Columns 8 and 9 of Schedule 1
Transport Canada can issue an Equivalency Certificate (also known as a Permit for Equivalent Level of Safety) to authorize a person to carry on activities related to transporting dangerous goods in a way that is not in compliance with the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Act or Regulations. However, the person must demonstrate that the proposed activity will provide a level of safety at least equivalent to compliance with the TDG Act and Regulations.
To request an Equivalency Certificate, a person must submit a request that includes the rationale supporting the need to transport the dangerous goods in a manner that is not compliant with the TDG Regulations, as well as any relevant information regarding the substance to be transported and the handling and transport method the requestor proposes to use. For more information, please consult Part 14 of the TDG Regulations and the TDG web site. To know how to apply, please consult the following document: How to apply for an Equivalency Certificate (Permit of Equivalent Level of Security).
Subsection 31(4) of the TDG Act stipulates that any non-compliance with the conditions of an Equivalency Certificate causes the provisions of the TDG Act and Regulations to apply as though the equivalency certificate did not exist. Therefore, a person can benefit from an Equivalency Certificate only if all conditions are strictly met. It is also important to note that any other requirement of the TDG Regulations applies.
Compliance with the TDG Act and Regulations
Failure to comply with the TDG Act and TDG Regulations may lead to fines and/or imprisonment. For more information, you can visit the TDG web site.
If you have any questions about the TDG Regulations, contact a Transport Canada dangerous goods inspector in your region.
Prairie & Northern
TDG Bulletin: How to use the TDG Regulations
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